Trade Law | Research | Faculty of Law | UNB

Global Site Navigation (use tab and down arrow)

Faculty of Law

Trade Law and Carbon Pricing Lab

Combatting climate change

Climate change is the single largest challenge of our time. It is an existential threat to the survival of human beings; a threat that must be addressed immediately.

This report provided by the Trade Law and Carbon Pricing Lab at the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Law, funded by the provincial Environmental Trust Fund, argues that we can combat climate change using international law, specifically international environmental law and international trade law.

Efforts to combat climate change must include both domestic and international components. Internationally, Canada is bound by their emissions targets through the Paris Agreements. Domestically, the provinces must help to implement change to achieve these targets.

This report seeks to provide an overview of the benefits and challenges associated with carbon pricing mechanisms available to Canada, with a particular focus on recommending Border Carbon Adjustments (BCAs) to the Federal Government. One of the biggest fallbacks of carbon pricing is carbon leakage.

Carbon leakage

Carbon leakage occurs when foreign carbon-unregulated products become more competitive than domestic carbon-regulated products due to the carbon tax imposed on the domestic products. BCAs are a tax added to imports whose Canadian-origin counterparts are subjected to a domestic carbon tax. This ensures that Canadian producers are not at a competitive disadvantage in the Canadian market when compared to international producers and the entire Canadian market is carbon accountable.

This report suggests that BCAs are compatible with Canada’s obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is the principal organization for international trade. The report outlines the relevant WTO law and highlights the specific provisions that are important for New Brunswick to consider. Further, this report highlights the roles of the federal and provincial governments in the international trade process.

Read the full report

Authors of the report

  • Maria Panezi, Academic Director
  • Rachel Lauder, Lab Executive Student Director
  • Brigid Martin, Lab Associate Student Director
  • Sarah Dalton, Chief Editor

Student Lab Members:

  • Alla Al-Arabi
  • Jake Bryden
  • Peyton Carmichael
  • Michael Damyanovich
  • Dylan Gallant
  • Matthew Gysbers
  • Greame Hiebert
  • Makenzie Hill
  • Patrick Leger
  • Erin MacDonald
  • Sean McEwan
  • Erin Mewburn
  • Emma Pandy-Szekeres
  • Amy Pascher